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High quality sustainable homes are worth the investment according to two recent independent pieces of research.  According to research carried out by housebuilder Redrow, when choosing a home, more than a quarter of those surveyed were willing to pay at least a 6% premium for a home with sustainable features.  The survey continued with 60% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would be more likely to buy a new home from a company building sustainable homes.

While 65% of those surveyed, were confident an ‘eco-home’ would save them money, it isn’t just economics that people are interested in.  additionally 65% respondents thought that it would be a more comfortable home.

In a survey carried out by GoCompare mortgages, 2000 people were asked to list what the most important features are to them when looking for somewhere to live.  The survey bucked the common held view that “location” “location” “location” is the most important issue.  Even access to local schools was less important than traditionally held views, with only 15% of respondents saying it was an essential factor.  Out of the top 20 property “must-haves”, issues associated with energy efficiency featured at numbers 1, 2, 10 and 14.

People’s priorities are clearly changing over time, with features such as a reliable broadband connection and a clear mobile signal being more important that having a garage.

These surveys matches our own research, that we carried out with MoneySupermarket last year with 97% of respondents stating they would prefer a home with a sustainable stamp of approval and 1 in 5 saying they would pay more for a home.

It is great to see that consumer demand for high quality sustainable homes is growing in importance, as industry we must make sure that we deliver on these promises.  Independent whole house certification such as the Home Quality Mark provides this independent stamp of approval, so consumers can trust that what is being sold to them, really is going to do what it says on the tin.

Interestingly in the Redrow research, a quarter indicated they thought it would be difficult or very difficult to buy such an eco-home, suggesting that more effort needs to be made in ensuring consumers understand the benefits of high quality sustainable homes, and that they are being built.  Home Quality Mark aims to ensure consumers are aware of the brand and the certified homes.  You can read about our media exposure at www.homequalitymark.com/media

Registrations are free for Home Quality Mark until the 1st of June, please visit www.homequalitymark.com for more details.

Gwyn Roberts
About the Author
Homes and Communities Leader, at BRE Global. I lead the team who works on Home Quaility Mark, BREEAM Communities, BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment and the Code for Sustainable Homes. Ex DCLG civil servant consultant and independent traveller; crossing Africa in a Solar powered Landcruiser in 2009/10. @homeqm and @overlandsun

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